Iris Murdoch: A Life

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 706 pages
2 Reviews
"Iris Murdoch's life - like her books - was full of extraordinary passions and profound relationships with some of the most inspiring and influential thinkers, artists, writers and poets of her time. During the war she pondered Aldous Huxley's doctrine that, for a writer, 'it is not what one has experienced but what one does with what one has experienced that matters,' and she later wrote that the person who might help her better herself 'must not distinguish between me and my work'. She was sometimes portrayed as a bourgeois grandee living an unworldly, detached intellectual life, inventing a fantastical alternative world for compensation; but much that was thought to be romance in her work turns out to be reality. 'Real life is so much odder than any book,' she wrote to a friend, and her life was as exciting and improbable as her fiction. Her novels are not just stylised comedies of manners with artificial complications, but reflect passionately lived experience, albeit wonderfully transmuted. Peter Conradi's biography returns the reader to her best work, through a quest for the living flesh-and-blood creature: the Irishwoman, the Communist-bohemian, the Treasury civil servant, the worker in Austrian refugee-camps, the RCA lecturer during the 1960s, the lifelong devotee of friendship conducted at a distancce and by letter, and the Buddhist-Christian mystic. It balances the formative years before the creative confusion of youth gave way to a greater stability, with an account of her maturity."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
 

What people are saying - Write a review

Iris: the life of Iris Murdoch

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Conradi, the literary executor of Iris Murdoch's (1919-99) estate, presents a richly textured study of her personal, professional, academic, and literary life. A well-loved only child who dove ... Read full review

Review: Iris Murdoch: A Life

User Review  - Pip - Goodreads

With this one might call oneself Murdoctrinated. Fascinating book, but the writing is a little too much like talking to a distracted narrator. Often the chapters dart around in time and idea and don't ... Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
3
III
33
IV
57
V
82
VI
109
VII
135
VIII
164
XVI
376
XVII
407
XVIII
409
XIX
437
XX
467
XXI
497
XXII
527
XXIII
551

IX
197
X
199
XI
231
XII
261
XIII
288
XIV
317
XV
345
XXIV
586
XXV
595
XXVI
599
XXVII
661
XXVIII
677
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

Peter J. Conradi is coexecutor of Murdoch's literary estate. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information